By Kemi Olatunde
Mothers have been called upon to embrace exclusive breastfeeding for the overall development of their children.
Physician in Charge, University of Medical Science Teaching Hospital, Akure complex, Dr. Adesina Akintan made the call yesterday while speaking with The Hope in Akure on the occasion of the 2023 World Breastfeeding Week which holds between 1st and 7th August.
According to him, breast milk is crucial in the first two years of a child’s life, nothing that it guarantees sound health, adding that babies who enjoy exclusive breastfeeding for the first six month are outstanding.
He explained that breast milk provides the nutritional needs of a baby and helps in the physical and mental development of the child.
He described exclusively breastfed babies as better babies saying “they grow better and have less incidence of diseases.
Speaking further, he said that it helps bond both mother and child and also reduces certain diseases in mothers including breast cancer adding that it fosters peace in the community.
While stating that breastfeeding doesn’t lead to breast sagging which according to him is an old age related issue, Akintan called on organisations to put in place creche to encourage mothers to adequately breastfeed as and when due.
He commended Ondo State Government for the extension of maternity leave from three months to six months and called on father’s to make good use of the paternity leave to assist their wives to exclusively breastfeed their babies so as to raise a healthy child.
Earlier, there had been awareness creation by the Dietetics Department of the hospital.
Addressing mothers at the Post Natal ward, Dietitian Bukola Arowolo stressed the need for mothers to give only breast milk for the first six month, adding that mothers should eat balanced diet in order to have the required strength to breastfeed.